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Police bring charges against one journalist in Chiclayo, beat another, allegedly in retaliation for critical reporting

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 17 April 2007, Radio Digital radio station and Canal 12 television station journalist Paul Alvarado Huamán stated that police officers of the Cayalti police station had falsely charged him with the crime of "violence and resisting authority" after he reported critically on their work. Cayalti is in Chiclayo, a city in northwestern Peru.

According to Alvarado Huamán, the official reason for the charges, laid on 28 February, was that he had attempted to stop the police from suspending a local festival in which he was taking part. The journalist believes, however, that the charges were actually laid in retaliation for criticisms of police work that he has made on the radio. The case is being heard by Chiclayo's Fourth Criminal Court.

The Cayalti police station, headed by Captain Javier Cruzado Gonzáles, declared that the charges were laid due to an incident in which Alvarado obstructed a police operation.

The journalist also revealed that he has been threatened by some of the district's drug addicts, who have apparently been sent with orders to assault him. He does not rule out the involvement of the police.

In a separate incident, on 13 April, Radio JHC correspondent Segundo Huaripata Quispe was assaulted by police technician Carlos López and two other policemen after Quispe tried to stop López from confiscating a motorbike from a citizen. The incident also took place in Cayalti.

According to Huaripata Quispe, the policemen forced him into the police station and beat him. The journalist acknowledged having made a mistake when he interfered with the confiscation, but he stated that the policemen told him that they had beaten him because of his constant criticism of their work.

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